Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Month of Making Do

With Christmas behind us and a bit too much spending this season, it is time to scale back, use up what we have already purchased, and reestablish some good financial habits.  To that end, I'm challenging myself with a really low grocery budget for January. The goal is to spend no more than $240 for our family of 7 and not eat out at all. That figure includes all food, personal care items, paper products, and diapers.

- Because we've gotten sloppy in our spending and use of a credit card.  We pay it off in full each month, but still, it has become a little too easy to just swipe the card and forget it. 
- To become mindful again about the difference between needs and wants. The line has gotten a little blurry.
- To enjoy what we already have at our disposal and practice gratitude.
- To save from our normal budget to recover from Christmas expenses and set the tone for financial prudence for the new year.
- To get back into the habit of keeping careful records of expenses.  We've been budgeting about $500 per month for all the above expenses for about the last year but I want to know if that is a realistic number given our family size and the ages of our kids. 
- To practice some delayed gratification in our "I've-have-to-have-this-now" culture we live in.

- With careful menu planning, limited shopping, and using up the ingredients and supplies we've already purchased.  Sometimes it is just good to deplete the stockpile to ensure that things don't go to waste.
- By doing without some things that we might really enjoy.  (Dr. Pepper, I'm looking at you.)
- By filling up some of the time I would have spent shopping on creative projects which I already have supplies for.

I'm up for the challenge, so away we go!

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